Bro. Tan has invited the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to volunteer at a ‘soup kitchen’ in order to witness their operations first hand. “The Honorable Minister can ‘turun padang’ (go down to the field) to see whether soup kitchens cause littering or dirty the surroundings. It is also the best way to get to know the homeless and destitute in Kuala Lumpur, and to understand why they became so,” said Bro Tan.
“Not all homeless people are lazy and choose to live off the streets. Many are without close family support while quite a few are mentally unwell. Some just couldn’t cope with the stress of life and badly need help,” he added.
Instead of banning soup kitchens from operating in the city centre, Bro. Tan suggested that designated areas within central KL be identified for them to operate without hindrance. As it were, food distribution is sometimes done in very public places such as Jalan Bukit Bintang, which attracts too much publicity.
Bro. Tan however urged people not to ‘attack’ or ridicule the minister over his proposed banning of soup kitchens in the city centre. “I believe the minister’s intention was to spruce up KL and improve its image. It is the job of the Federal Territories Ministry and the City Hall to do so. Thus we should not be mere ‘armchair critics’ and criticize incessantly.” Nevertheless he opined that ministers and officials can improve on their public communications so as not to be frequently ‘misunderstood’.
On another note to clean up Kuala Lumpur’s image, Bro. Tan agreed that illegal operations such as gambling parlours and seedy massage centres be banned from the city. This would make KL a more wholesome place for residents and tourists alike.